Cutting concrete is a tough enough job. It is even tougher to saw straight through a thick slab with a concrete saw. However, there are ways to make the work easier by using the right technique.
So whether you need to saw straight on concrete slabs, walls, floors, etc, follow our easy steps to make sure that you cut straight with a concrete saw.
Before you start, make sure you wear proper protection to prevent accidents and harming yourself. Wear the following:
- Heavy longsleeved shirt and pants
- Shin guards
- Knee pads
- Steel-toed boots
- Eye protection
- Ear protection
- Full face shield
- High-filtration dust mask
Materials and Tools
- Concrete Saw preferably using a diamond blade
- Drop cloths
- Duct tape
- Measuring tools
- A ground fault circuit interrupter (protection for the extension cord)
- Garden hose
- Scrap wood the length of your cut (to work as a guide)
- Wet or dry vacuum
- Claw hammer (optional)
- Mason chisel (optional)
- Clean the area of debris, mess, and obstructions.
- Make sure the area is safe and everyone is at a safe distance.
- Put on all your safety gear and equipment.
- Test the concrete saw to make sure it is working properly.
Choose the process you are going to use – are you dry-cutting or wet-cutting? There are different types of diamond blades for a concrete saw.
There is one specifically designed for wet sawing and there is one for dry sawing. Wet sawing is most preferable because it produces much less dust and is less stressful for the concrete blade.
Wet cutting requires the use of water so have your water hose ready and make sure the water pressure is reliable.
Prepare the work area. If you are working in an enclosed space, tape drop cloths to any doors, windows and any air intakes to make sure that the dust and flying debris do not enter the other parts of your home or building.
If you are working in an open space, make sure that you have enough space away from people and anything that will break. Only authorised and necessary personnel and workers should be within the vicinity.
Measure and mark the spots you are going to cut. Apply the lines as thick as possible. Try to get waterproof markers or chalk so the marks won’t disappear once you start cutting and the water trickles over the markings.
Position the garden hose properly so it will hit the diamond blade generously and the water will trickle down to where the blade makes contact with the concrete.
This will ensure that the blade is kept cool and the dust does not become airborne. The water stream should be steady and consistent.
Doing this is easy when you are working on a horizontal area like floors, pavements, and roads. For vertical spaces like a wall, it is more challenging to keep the water stable and on point.
You will require assistance from another worker or two to keep the water jet spraying on the blade and the marked area while you focus on the sawing.
Position the scrap wood (preferably 1 inch thick) along the outside of the marked lines. This will serve as a guide as you cut along making sure that the line is straight.
Before turning on the concrete saw, set the depth lever or the knob to half an inch deep. This will ensure that the cuts you make will not go over half an inch deep.
Doing shallow cuts will give you more control and help your blade to cool off. This is a better strategy than cutting deep all at once.
By going all in, you will be pushing your concrete blade too far which can cause costly damage to the saw and the concrete.
Power the saw at the lowest revolutions per minute. Maintain a constant but firm grip on the concrete saw. Move the saw slowly forward against the guide board. Let the concrete saw do the work.
Do not push or put too much pressure on the concrete, just guide it and keep a firm hold. Cut for 30 to 45 seconds at a time. Running the concrete saw at longer times will cause the blade to overheat or break.
When you are done cutting, let the saw continue to run while you remove the blade away from the concrete.
This will give the blade a chance to spit out any dust and debris which will stop it from clogging up and also allows the blade to cool down. Alternate cutting and cooling down for 30 to 45 seconds each time.
Once you have completed the straight line, remove the guide board. Go back to the start of the cut and continue cutting deeper until you achieve your desired or target depth. Continue doing intermittent cuts.
Take breaks to take out the accumulated dust and debris. Even with wet sawing, dust and debris will still accumulate. Clean the workspace regularly using a broom or vacuum to do the job.
When you are done cutting, use a sledgehammer or mason chisel to clean the edges. Use the tools carefully so you will not cause the concrete to break or chip off on the edges.
Clean up and put away all equipment and tools especially the concrete saw.
Operating a concrete saw is a big feat. For quick, accurate, cost-effective, and timely, concrete cutting, let Melbourne’s most trusted do the job.
For all concrete cutting needs, be it commercial or residential, call us at MEGASAW. We have over 20 years of experience providing quality concrete services in Melbourne. Our experience is your guarantee!
Please call us today on 1300 920 419 or contact us through our website.